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School of Public Health Thrived in 2012

School of Public Health Dean Howard Frumkin reviewed accomplishments from 2012 and summarized goals for the future.

In his annual state of the school address, School of Public Health Dean Howard Frumkin reviewed accomplishments from 2012 and summarized goals for the future.

January 16, 2013

In his annual state of the school address earlier this week, Howard Frumkin, MD, DrPH, Dean of the University of Washington School of Public Health, reported that despite the national economic crisis and increased competition from other public health programs, the School “thrived” in 2012. Those in attendance ranged from new faculty to “faithful old friends” who have long supported the school, some of them for more than 50 years. In his address, Frumkin reviewed the School’s accomplishments from 2012, outlined progress on the strategic plan, and summarized goals for the future.

An important accomplishment for 2012 was the School’s ability to sustain research productivity despite tough financial times. Grants increased from $144 million in fiscal year 2011 to $152 million in fiscal year 2012. But Frumkin cautioned that federal grant dollars are plateauing and that increases like these would not continue. Another point of pride was the School’s broad array of projects that range from long-standing public health issues like occupational health to the groundbreaking work measuring the global burden of disease.

The School’s strategic plan began implementation in 2012. Important milestones this past year included doubling the number of undergraduate majors from 100 to 200 students, working more closely with the Dean’s Council—associates who represent the School to the broader community—and enhancing internal and external communication efforts through newsletters, social media, and an improved website.

While the School’s teaching remains strong, Frumkin emphasized an ongoing dedication to continuous improvement by the Learning and Teaching Committee. For example, they have been expanding and enhancing field placements to increase students’ opportunities to “learn by doing.”

Another ongoing goal for the School is fostering an atmosphere of community. This is being addressed through the addition of student affairs staff, a new student space, and more structured guidance for professional development. In addition, Frumkin pledged to increase diversity among staff and students.

Looking forward, Frumkin also identified the School’s commitment to strengthening community collaborations, which includes the work of NWCPHP. NWCPHP works to serve the public health practice community, and Frumkin mentioned the School’s ongoing support for NWCPHP as an outreach arm of the School to better connect with the public health practice community.

Frumkin also vowed to “turn the university inside out” through more teaching and speaking throughout the greater community. He invited everyone to spread the word about an upcoming panel presentation regarding public health and gun violence at Town Hall, a community culture center in Seattle. This is the first time the School has helped sponsor a Town Hall presentation.

Frumkin closed the address by thanking everyone for their hard work and noting that the School is thriving because of their efforts. Said Frumkin, “You make the School a great community.”

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